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Wednesday Wisdom – The Ritual of Recovery

I shared a picture post found on Mental Health Prime’s Facebook page this past week that read as follows:

‘When I’m resting because my body is weak, I need to remember that I’m not wasting the day doing nothing or being lazy, I am doing exactly what I need to do, I’m recovering.’

The popularity of the post suggests that the tendency of so many, to push so hard, so much of the time, is universally familiar – possibly suggestive of a type of ‘illness’ that is reaching pandemic proportions.

Whilst the pressure to attain success seems to have increased in our ‘always on – always available’ society, the reality is that, our minds and bodies can only sustainably achieve so much in any given period of time.

Pause and rest for the mind and body is just as important as it always has been, if not more so given the bombardment of information and environmental demands one is subjected to every day.

To some extent, the measurement of success has shifted in recent decades, from external, objectively identifiable targets and outputs, to learning how to manage ourselves internally. Given that we live in a world where job performance, hours worked, material goods and one’s bank balance is seen to be more important than the increasing levels of personal and societal burnout, it stands to reason that, if we do not engage appropriately with our inner selves, our outer selves do not stand a chance

The importance of taking time out through established routines and rituals that allow for breathing space and recovery ought not to be under-estimated.  It is irrelevant what others might think.  The wisdom in the saying ‘listen to your body’ was never as profound as it is currently, when thousands across the globe face physical and mental exhaustion, or are surrounded by family, colleagues and friends who battle with burnout, if not more serious illnesses. There is a very real possibility that such illnesses present as a result of refusing to let go when personal indicators make it known that all is not well.

Everyone requires regular periods of recovery.  This is not a remedy for ‘the other’ – and the sooner we learn to support one another in this universal human need, the more productive and successful the world will become.

Take a moment to consciously note what your daily ritual for ensuring recovery is and, if you do not have one, make it a priority goal to create the space to do so.  This could be as small and simple an exercise as pausing mindfully over a cup of coffee while ‘doing nothing’ or as substantial as taking a solid period of time off.  Whatever it is, the benefits far outweigh the effort required in creating this time, whereas the cost of ignoring the need could result in recovery being impossible.


26th of June 2019

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